Posts tagged dox
Thinking Outside the Dox(ing)
 
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This is something that I don’t typically do, because I’ve never had a reason to. In this case, a few weeks ago I wrote a post about my experience of spending a couple of years engaging with people on a politically-centered Facebook group who took to doxing as a way to settle a political dispute; private information anyone could gather from doing a google search. They typically hide in anonymity behind Facebook profiles that have extremely short histories, with timelines filled with derogatory, infantile, and poorly researched memes about why what they believe makes anyone in opposition look stupid. That post had a…I’ll call it a “raucous” response when the post was shared by a member of the group (if you read the prior post, you could guess who was responsible). The pushback was an amalgam of outrage, anger and anxiety, mixed with a variety of threats; those of which included hacking and law suits. Some scoffed at the idea of being called “white supremacists,” one in particular expressing outrage over being associated with such a heinous “group.” Some were disturbed. Some couldn’t believe the allegations. One or two even called me a bigot.

Then there was everyone else. There were people who reached out to me personally, thanking me for exposing the behavior of those in the group, and sharing stories with me of the treatment they received by the “usual suspects” in the group. Many have had their occupations exposed; salaries and places of work being revealed. . Some have had pictures of themselves, or family members posted. There have been threats of violence— I’ve personally had at least two from people that were immediately booted from the site (‘greyed out',’ as it’s called when your name is no longer active in group, after being ejected.

When you think about it…how crazy is it that there are people who are so fragile and sociopathic that when “corrected” in a political conversation, they will come back with rude comments, posting screenshots of things they Googled about you.  Many do this from accounts that have no history other than memes and bat-shit crazy political memes about ‘the Caravan,’ MS-13, AOC (new obsession), Obama (mainstay), Clinton (either one), other touting that Trump is some sort of genius constant besting libtards, libturds, Dems, liberals, libs, lefties, commies, hippies, etc, because that’s just how smart he/she is!

Have you seen the memes? If you’re educated in the proper way, of course you have. You see a lot of NPC when you debate with one of these people:

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“Non-controlled player.” That’s incel for “conformist.” NCP are the pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto. They’re the robot frontier folk in “WestWorld”. They’re just the most basic form of artificial intelligence going through routines they were programmed to.

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There there are the Pepe The Frog memes. Much like NCP, it’s a tired alt-right, Trump-ist nonsense used to avoid debating an issue they’re ignorant of— but just want to “own the libs,” in any way possible.

When the “owning” fails, some will resort to the next step: doxxing. There are some who will go out of their way to Google you, put time and energy into searching through whatever they can find for something, ANYTHING that they can use to…”own” you I guess...and whatever they find, they post it. Work history, salary, pictures of your children or your spouse, anything.

Since discovering my previous post, there are certain individuals who I called out specifically that argued that they did the things they clearly did. Attempts to dispute what had been clearly referenced and identified were lacking in validity and basic common sense. They went out of their way to insult, deflect, and refuse accountability for years of antisocial, malcontented behavior. It makes one wonder…do they forget it as soon as they post it? Are they playing dumb? ARE they dumb? It’s interesting to see a group of people who seemed to be more upset by calling out individuals and the group itself, calling it “unfair” and “inappropriate.” At the same time, I had heard from one woman who told me that her resumé was posted during a debate. Another woman had pictures of her child posted. A few people have had their current employer name and address posted. These things happened often, and no one said a word about how “unfair” or “inappropriate” it was.

Two weeks later, I was booted from the group— obviously, of course. There was no way those people would suffer someone who outed the groups’ vitriolic and hate-filled tone. I hesitate to use the term “whistleblower,” because that suggests something far more important than calling out a group of nasty, spiteful people who consistently violate the privacy of others due to their own lack of knowledge and maturity. I have to say…there is a peace in not seeing posts from this group show up in my timeline. The homophobia, the misogyny, the bigotry, the Trump flatulence-huffing…it’s been wonderful to NOT see any of that nonsense. It’s this absence in my social media consumption that has been a remarkable shift in the tone of my experience over-all.

I first started seeing the “social media exit” posts a few years ago. People would post about how they needed to take a break from Facebook, or Twitter, because they just couldn’t stand it anymore. Too much negativity, they’d say. Too much anger, they’d say. This was curious to me because social media platforms will only show you what you ask for. You are responsible for choosing who or what you follow. Basically, you’re the curator of the content you want to consume. The fact that people were blaming the platforms missed the point entirely. ONLY YOU are responsible for what (or who) is in your timeline. You don’t have to follow the people that post ignorant, hateful shit. You don’t have to follow news organizations with bad reporting. You don’t have to join and stay in groups where the bulk of the members support the worst of who we are. It seems like sometimes we can be addicted to negativity— maybe for counterbalance, maybe because we like the fight, we’re attracted to the outrage as a release for other tensions. Social media has provided a gateway to express the worst in us—it’s an anonymous way to say some fucked-up things to others…things that 95% of people would NEVER say to someone’s face.

Everyone is a big talker online. Everyone has low-hanging, wide-swinging Facebook/Twitter balls; especially those that hide behind fake profiles. There are those who will create profiles specifically for trolling, because at the end of the day, they are afraid of being victims of things that THEY do to others. The malcontents on the Rockland County Politics page, and hundreds of other pages like it, hide because they’re afraid. In many cases, they’re more afraid than anyone else of people discovering who they are, and how little they actually know. In the case of the RCP board, it is alleged that a few of the “fake profiles” are utilized by folks who, offline, are active members of the community in Rockland County; business owners, personnel from the Sheriff’s Department, bankers, committee members, etc. It’s no wonder that they hide their identities— could you imagine how the community would respond to the behaviors of these so-called professional people?

Since the initial blog post, there have been many folks that have contacted me to share some of their experiences with the RCP board. The comments, the threats, the doxing, it’s all as petty, conniving, cowardly, and anti-social as one could imagine. This is just a SMALL sampling:

I’ve redacted the names of those victimized by the behavior displayed here. As with the previous posting, I have kept the names of the aggressors and attackers. This is an example of those who were SO outraged by the revelations of those responsible for threats and invasions of privacy. The gall and hypocrisy of those who were angered by these exposures is quite remarkable, considering that they had no problems whatsoever with posting these things. What’s even more remarkable is the notion that doxing people will not have any blowback whatsoever. The aggressors and attackers, for example, have no idea that while they went out of their way to research their victims…these same victims are researching them. They have no idea that the digital footprints they’ve left in their anonymity have exposed them. They have no idea that what they think they know about us is a drop in the bucket compared to what is known about them. This intelligence gathering is not being used to spite those who have differing political POVs. This is not opposition research, this is protection, and insurance.

You want to believe that we live in a better world than we actually do. We all want to believe that most people are normal. We ALL want to believe that adults can conduct themselves with common sense, maturity, wisdom, common courtesy, and mutual respect. That, however, is not the case. It turns out that there are some people out there who just don’t “get it.” I’m not sure if it’s a mental illness or emotional deficiency, but whatever it is I don’t want any part of it. It’s exhausting, a waste of energy, and outright stupid to engage with people who have no interest being better, smarter, well-informed, evolving beings. There are people who scoff at learning of any kind. They are repulsed by anything that requires thought and consideration. They are stubborn, arrogantly ignorant, smug, and indignant. For them, there is a comfort in the mockery and ridiculing of others to make themselves feel better. Their feelings and beliefs are far more important than reality. Their inability to converse with others of differing ideologies results in insults, threats, and worse.

Do they sound like the type of people you want to spend time and energy with?

More stuff to read

“The Myth and the Terror”: a short story

When White Supremacists Troll

O.G. Blerd

The Liam Neeson Problem

The People Beneath the Clouds

Sarah Jeong: An Intro to Fragility